Miller Spoolmate

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orion_134
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Miller Spoolmate

Post by orion_134 » 20 Aug 2011, 12:27

I'm looking to purchase a Spoolmate for my Miller MIG and I am wondering if there are other things to buy while I'm at it. So far, I know that I'll need the spoolgun, some wire (what size...no idea), anything else? Does aluminum require the same argon shielding gas? I'll be welding 1/8" sheets, if that helps.

Thanks guys,
Jesse
1985 1648 Lowe 17" transom 65" beam
2004 25hp Mercury 4 stroke Bigfoot
Minn Kota Riptide Saltwater 55 lb trolling motor
Center console, front/rear casting decks, custom 20" transom, flotation pods
Let's keep the water OUTSIDE of the boat and we will have a good time.

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linehand
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Post by linehand » 20 Aug 2011, 13:54

I'd get some tips and you will want to use pure argon or helium for shielding. Your local shop should be a good help.
Family, Fish, Work, Repeat.

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crazymanme2
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Post by crazymanme2 » 20 Aug 2011, 14:32

You'll use argon for shielding.

Helium is way to expensive. #-o
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Ranchero50
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Post by Ranchero50 » 20 Aug 2011, 16:54

.035" wire, about a dozen tips or more until you learn how to hold the gun. Might want a longer ground cable, sometimes I wish mine was longer. Ask for lessons if they have a machine setup to run the gun. Ten minutes with someone who already knows how to do it wrong will shorten your learning curve a lot. Miller's web site also has some good reading info.

Jamie

johnboat_red
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Post by johnboat_red » 21 Aug 2011, 00:41

all of the above and make sure your welds are really clean aluminum is not as forgiving of poor weld prep as steel
#-o ask me how i know

i would spend the money on a die grinder and a surface prep kit that has scotchbrite pads on it i think there like $20 for the kit. then run that over every weld seam at least 3" on each side of your bead and wipe it down with accetone or paint thinner.

the more prep work you put into your weld the better it will look and the easier it is to make a good bead
any body can drag a mig gun over a seam (i figured it out). the pro's get paid the big bucks because they do the prep work right.

just my 2 cents
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crazymanme2
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Post by crazymanme2 » 21 Aug 2011, 05:53

Just make sure who your taking advice from is a known welder of aluminum of many years.

Other wise your going to spend your money on useless stuff. [-X

Alot of welders think they know how to weld aluminum,(new material & on the bench),but few can weld old aluminum without problems. #-o
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linehand
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Post by linehand » 21 Aug 2011, 07:35

Well there crazyman2 some of us on here are very experienced welders. I don't know who your boss pays to get your tanks filled but I don't think I have any considerable cost difference if I choose helium or argon. Shoot I may have even sold your company the equipment you make your living on if you are in Michigan. I just did a pontoon job for a millwright about a week ago.
Family, Fish, Work, Repeat.

ckr74
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Post by ckr74 » 21 Aug 2011, 12:23

Old or new is not much difference but I use a tig. Just make sure both surfaces are clean and oil free. Use a ss wire brush to clean the metals. Practice practice!

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ditchen
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Post by ditchen » 21 Aug 2011, 18:34

linehand wrote:Well there crazyman2 some of us on here are very experienced welders. I don't know who your boss pays to get your tanks filled but I don't think I have any considerable cost difference if I choose helium or argon. Shoot I may have even sold your company the equipment you make your living on if you are in Michigan. I just did a pontoon job for a millwright about a week ago.
hmm,,,linehhand, you need to upgrade :D

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orion_134
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Post by orion_134 » 22 Aug 2011, 06:18

Thanks for the tips guys, I never thought of asking the welding shop to show me. This place is a welding supply joint, not sure that they even do any welding in-house:/
1985 1648 Lowe 17" transom 65" beam
2004 25hp Mercury 4 stroke Bigfoot
Minn Kota Riptide Saltwater 55 lb trolling motor
Center console, front/rear casting decks, custom 20" transom, flotation pods
Let's keep the water OUTSIDE of the boat and we will have a good time.

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Ranchero50
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Post by Ranchero50 » 22 Aug 2011, 06:41

If they have sales and a service section then they should have demo machines. GTS does a customer appreciation lunch every summer with all the toys powered up. Eat a hot dog and melt some metal, good times.

orion_134
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Location: Leesburg, VA

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Post by orion_134 » 11 Sep 2011, 20:19

Someone told me that I should get tips one to two sizes larger than the wire I'm using because the wire expands and sticks. Any truth to this?
1985 1648 Lowe 17" transom 65" beam
2004 25hp Mercury 4 stroke Bigfoot
Minn Kota Riptide Saltwater 55 lb trolling motor
Center console, front/rear casting decks, custom 20" transom, flotation pods
Let's keep the water OUTSIDE of the boat and we will have a good time.

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Ranchero50
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Post by Ranchero50 » 11 Sep 2011, 23:23

If you have the wire too close to the work on startup or the heat too high you can get burnback and melt the wire into the tip. That's why I'm running .035" now. It's much more forgiving than .030" The tip is what transfers the current into the wire so I would run it size on size, I've never heard about running it one size over. Tips aren't overly expensive but buy an extra 10pk when you go to the store.

Jamie

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fender66
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Post by fender66 » 12 Sep 2011, 11:22

All I can add is that I wish I had some of those skills.

And the gear to use it too. :mrgreen:
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